Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ladies' Mile Disaster (Or, You're Not Seriously Wearing That)

I overheard this exchange between a young man and a young woman a few weeks ago on Sixth Avenue. The man was neatly dressed. The woman...well...let's just say she was so tricked out in alt-trends that it looked like all of hipster Brooklyn just barfed all over her.

NEAT MAN: OK. Well. Wow. That's not at all what I thought you'd be wearing today.

MADEMOISELLE TRENDITA: Is something wrong with my outfit?

NEAT MAN scans her up and down, clicks his tongue against his teeth.

NEAT MAN: It's interesting. What you're wearing is interesting.

MADEMOISELLE TRENDITA: Totally. That's what I was going for.

NEAT MAN: Listen. Why don't I give you fifty bucks to go buy something nice? You can change.


NEAT MAN: Omigod. Was that so rude of me or what? I guess it was rude. Did you think that was rude of me to ask?


NEAT MAN: Listen, let's just go to like the Gap or something and you can get a nice dress. Let's face it. What you're wearing is a nightmare and I can't have it. I just can't believe that's what you'd wear today...

Unfortunately, they turned off after that. I never knew if Mme. Trendita (his date? his hired beard? his employee? his hooker?) gave in to his stylistic whims or if she jammed her ankle-bootied foot in his ass and got her Bushwick ladyballs out of there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Things You Can Tell Just By Listening to Her (Or, Rhea)

I overheard this last week. To make matters worse (or, uh, better I guess), the indiscreet woman was coming out of my neighborhood's community health center.

INDISCREET WOMAN ON CELLPHONE: Omigod. Guess what? I think I totally gave you guys rhea. Yeah. I just saw the doctor. I know. I'm sooooooooooooooooooo sorry! Call me later!

Of course, only she and "you guys" know if the rhea in question was diarrhea, gonorrhea, or Rhea Perlman.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Problems is You (Or, The Bitch Is 99)

Overheard on 7th Avenue a few weeks ago...through a wafting sea of stale vodka:

DRUNK MAN: (to his DRUNKER FRIEND) Lisssssten, we need to talkkk about your drinking problem, OK?

DRUNKER FRIEND: No, you listen. We got nothing to talkkkkkkkk about. The reason for my drinking problems is YOU.

Ah, the splendor of codependency.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Romantical (Or, Golden)

Overheard recently...

WOMAN: I want to go somewhere on a date. Somewhere that's romantic, but not too fancy.

MAN: How about the Golden Corral?

WOMAN: What's that?

MAN: Haven't you seen the commercials on TV? It's not fancy - you can get dinner for ten dollars.

WOMAN: But is it romantic?

MAN: Of course it's romantic. It's golden.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On View This Month (Or, Some Toots)

Self-Portrait as Duane Michals

Self-Portrait as Nan Goldin

The above two photos of mine will be on view August 23-September 17 in Partial Relation at the Residence Gallery in Long Beach, California.

Mystery Train
(below) was selected for the online annex of The Poetry of Shadows at the Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. The show runs August 13 - September 10.

Mystery Train

And Mah Jongg (below) was selected for Still Life: A Depiction of Things at the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles. The show also runs through September 10.

Mah Jongg

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Scentuous Woman (Or, Sensitive Persperative Concessions )

I had the pleasure of seeing Dog Day Afternoon last weekend at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. I was basking in the venue's general loveliness...until I realized where I was.

The Upper West Side.

While it is a neighborhood I love and consider retiring to it one day like it's Florida, it is less than accommodating to those who are under the age of 80. Dear reader, before you cry ageism, consider the following three totally true encounters from my moviegoing experience:

#1 Concessions of a Dangerous Mind

The single line for the concession stand was long and slow. To make matters worse, an elderly gentleman got confused and bumrushed the front of the line, causing an ocean of ladies to form a second line behind him. Fearing a riot, I stayed mute. Luckily, a young woman behind me (who must live on the UWS and have to deal with such events on a daily basis) scolded the ladies as such:

"You ladies need to get to the back of this line right now. There is only one line."

"But he got to go. I thought there was two lines! Don't yell at me!"

"He's confused. You are not. MOVE."

I was in love.

#2 The Scentuous Woman

Finally entering the theater, I heard this exchange between two older women:

"I have to move seats. I can't sit near you. I have a scent sensitivity and you are wearing too much perfume."

"Well, I'm sorry. I like how I smell."

"You're disgusting."

Luckily I didn't splash myself with Jean Naté after I showered. I might have been bludgeoned.

#3 Ode on a Damp Seat

After taking my seat, I noticed a woman standing in the aisle next to her seat. She was purveying the audience as if she were about to make an announcement or begin a soliloquy. Not happy with the lack of attention she was receiving, she bellowed:

"I can't sit here! This seat is so damp. I have to move seats. Someone has been perspiring all over this seat and it's so moist. It's not dry. Really, it isn't. I just can't sit here."

She took the aisle with a dramatic whirl and sat down again two rows behind me.

I'm sure her friends say this behind her back:

"Oh, that Joyce. She thinks she's Sarah Bernhardt."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Old Lady Diner (Or, Turn, Turn, Turn)

One Sunday morning about a month ago, I was having breakfast at a diner in my neighborhood. Yes, I am so old that going out for breakfast at 8 A.M. on a Sunday is now a reasonable, pleasant, and thoroughly enjoyable thing to do. I now also enjoy seeing movies on weekends at 11 A.M. because it's less crowded and the youthful riff-raff is nowhere to be found.

Sometimes I think, Jesus Christ, just call the AARP already and see if you can get an early-bird discount membership.

Having breakfast at a diner that early on a Sunday means I encounter two groups of people: up-and-at-'em old ladies like people who are just exiting bars and clubs who are still still drunk/coked/whacked out of their gourds and in dire need of some kind of greasy sustenance.

So, on this said Sunday, as I'm casually eating a Greek omelet, a guy and a girl roll in with busted, matted hair and reeking of vodka, cigarettes, and clammy, boozy sweat. They plop down in the booth behind me. So, while I didn't have the complete visual picture, I did get to experience the following dialogue:

DRUNK GIRL: OmmmmmmmmmmmmygoddddI'mhunnnnnnnngry

DRUNK GUY: I've NEVER been here before! WHAT should I get?

DRUNK GIRL: It'slikeadineranshitsoyoucangetwhatevercausetheyhaveeverythinganshit... becauseit'slikeadineranshitttttttt.

The waiter approaches, clearly scared of what has been poured into his section.

WAITER: Can I get you coffees?

DRUNK GUY: WHAT kind of COCKtails do you have?

WAITER: It's before noon. I can't serve you drinks.

DRUNK GUY: FUCK. How about a FANCY coffee then? Like a MOCHAfuckingCHINO or something with whippppped cream and Bailey's?

WAITER: Um, yes. But no Bailey's.


DRUNK GIRL: Jussssgitafuckincooofffeeorsomeshittt

DRUNK GUY: OK, OK fine. Just TWO coffees.

Waiter leaves.

DRUNK GIRL: WhatwasgoingonwithyouandDaniellllle?

DRUNK GUY: Omigod. She was coming on to me. She was all "YOU'RE NOT REALLY GAY!" and I was all "BITCH. I SO am." and she was all "I'm gonna TURN YOU!" and I was all "OHNOHONEY!"

DRUNK GIRL: Omigodshedidnotsaythat.


Waiter returns with coffees.

WAITER: Do you know what you want to have?


DRUNK GIRL: OhgodlikeItoldyouitwasjusssadineranshit.

WAITER: Should I come back?

DRUNK GUY: What's like THE BEST thing to have here?

WAITER: Omelets? Pancakes? Waffles?


WAITER: OK. Deluxe? What kind of cheese?

DRUNK GIRL: YouarestillsowastedIcan'tbelieveyouwantacheeseburgeranshhhit.

DRUNK GUY: Shut UP! That's what I want. Deluxe. AMERICAN cheese!

DRUNK GIRL: PancakesanbaacconIneedtogotothebathroom.

They gurgled back and forth like that for while. When I finally got up to leave, I turned to see both of them slumped down on either side of the booth, eyeliner smeared, barely conscious.

Ahhhhh...Sundays in Manhattan.

Friday, July 08, 2011

"Analog to Digital" and "Exposed" (Or, Some Toots)

Self-Portrait as Nan Goldin

Self-Portrait as Maya Deren

Yes, it's time for some toots. Four toots in two parts.

Two of my photographs (above) were selected for the Electron Salon portion of the show Analog to Digital at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, opening tomorrow night and running through August.

The following two photos will also be on view in Exposed: The Contemporary Nude at the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles. The show runs July 9 - August 5.

Queensberry Street


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ask Showgirls (Or, Are You There, Elizabeth? It's Me, Nomi)

My friend Patty's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. In celebration of said event, I decided to get Patty a copy of Ask Elizabeth, famed Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkley's hit book for teenage girls.

Yes, I know.

The first person you'd think would write an advice book for teenage girls is a woman who starred in the Citizen Kane of sexploitation films. OK, maybe Showgirls isn't the Citizen Kane of sexploitation...but it might be its Magnificent Ambersons.

Ask Elizabeth
is, to quote the book's subtitle, "Real answers to everything you secretly wanted to ask about love, friends, your body...and life in general."

Patty is not a teenage girl.

Patty is, however, a deeply committed fan of Showgirls.

Given the nature of such a book, I couldn't resist. It's not the subject matter that drew me in. Oh, no. It's the faint hope that Elizabeth would eschew earnest advice and answer semi-to-hardcore NC-17 questions a la her alter ego Showgirl Nomi Malone:

Dear Elizabeth/Nomi,

How do you have an orgasm like you're a short-circuiting robot in a swimming pool?

Love, Hopeful RoboBimbo


Dear Elizabeth/Nomi

How do you get that 'whorish' look on your nails?

Love, Keep On Pressin' On

If Nomi's voice wasn't given airtime in the book, I figured maybe she would answer questions from young girls seeking fame and fortune in Hollywood:

Dear Elizabeth,

If you have a flat ass, how do you handle nude scenes?

Love, Two Saltines Out Back


Dear Elizabeth,

If you realize your starring vehicle is going to get laughs rather than Oscars, shouldn't you work it like a drag queen? It worked for Gina Gershon. Let me know!

Love, Cristal Connors II

Of course, the book has answers to none of these important questions. That didn't stop me from hunting the thing down like a high priest of camp, scouring the teen readers sections of multiple Barnes & Nobles for this sacred ritual text. I nearly gave up after a surly Customer Service clerk wearing a pin that announced "I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER" rolled her eyes at my request and sent me deep into the bowels of the store. Looking over tables and tables of Twilight merchandise, I began to lose hope. Finally, a male clerk recognized my despondency and asked me if I needed help. I went through the same "I need 'Ask Elizabeth'!" desperation speech and his eyes lit up.

She knew exactly where it was.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Fever for the Beaver (Or, Marquee Dreams)

When I first saw a trailer for Jodie Foster's new film The Beaver, I really and truly hoped that she chose the title in the spirit of intentional camp, like John Waters did for his film Pecker. Waters developed Pecker around the title, as he was obsessed with seeing the following on a movie marquee:


Alas, Ms. Foster seems to have been earnest in her titling. She wasn't aiming for the movie marquee genius of NOW SHOWING JODIE FOSTER'S BEAVER. Oh, well.

But now that Foster's The Beaver is a classified box office bomb, there are some truly titilating headlines that I wish would appear on a newsstand/browser/mobile device/tablet near me. Here are just a you can see, the jokes are easy, breezy, and plentiful (well, either that or I need to be an intern for the Daily News' copy desk):

Jodie Foster's Beaver Stinks
Jodie Foster's Beaver Fails to Find an Audience
No One Wants to See Jodie's Beaver
Jodie Foster's Beaver Keeps Them Away
Foster's Beaver Can't Make Money
Foster's Beaver Has No Legs
Public Ignores Foster's Beaver
Critics Hard on Foster's Beaver
Foster's Beaver Uninteresting to Men, Women, Children

And my favorite...

Jodie Foster's Beaver: Not a Big Opening

Sorry, Jode. Loved your bitchery in Inside Man and I still imitate the rescue scene in Silence of the Lambs on a weekly basis.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is That A Poem in Your Pocket or Are You Just Glad to See Me? (Or, This Room Has Mystery Like a Trance)

Today is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. "Poet" was a sincere career aspiration of mine when I was a child (oh, who am I kidding, that intent lasted well through college). I credit my grandmother Mae for getting me excited about poetry. Her brother (so, my great uncle) was poet and artist Kenneth Patchen, who was a fixture in the literature and art scene of Greenwich Village in the 1930s and 40s (he and his wife Miriam lived on West 11th Street - around the corner from the White Horse Tavern). Kenneth and Miriam later moved to San Francsico and then Palo Alto. My grandmother had a lot of his books and I was awestruck every time she shared them with me.

To celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day, here is Patchen's poem "This Room Has Mystery Like a Trance":

This room has mystery like a trance
Of wine ; forget-me-nots of you
Are chair and couch, the books your
Fingers touched. And now that you

Are absent here the silence scrapes
A secret rust from everything;
While sudden wreaths of sorrow's
Dust uncover emptiness like halls
To stumble through, and terror falls

In the 1950s, he performed his poetry with John Cage ("The City Wears a Slouch Hat") and jazz greats like Charles Mingus. He also experimented with painted poetry. Below are some samples of his visual work (more can be seen here).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Toot in the Mirror (Or, I'll Be Your Mirror)

Jason at 13

Pardon my tootage...the above photograph of mine was selected for the show I'll Be Your Mirror: The Portrait opening this Saturday at the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles. And these three photographs were chosen for the exhibition's online annex:

Anna at 95


Self-Portrait as Man Ray

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gerry and Lo (Or, Rounding Out the Three)

So, I'm hoping that the deaths of Loleatta Holloway and Geraldine Ferraro complete the celebrity-deaths-in-threes triangulation of the past week. Ms. Holloway made the early 1990s - via the late 1970s - a whole lot more fun...and Ms. Ferraro was the original badass woman running mate. Fuck you-know-who (like I even have to say that) and her faked and half-baked tough-for-the-cameras-with-a-rifle bullshit. Gerry was the real deal.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Place in the Sun (Or, Queen Elizabeth)

And to think I was just about to post an R.I.P. entry for Loleatta Holloway...

Growing up in the 1970s, I thought of Elizabeth Taylor as something of a joke. She was often parodied and was often a parody of herself - the out-of-control, drunk and bloated faded superstar who was famous more for her husbands, jewelry, and various appetites than she was for her talent.

Despite it all, I was mesmerized as a kid. A woman in a turban leaves me weak in the knees.

Sometime after college, I discovered a different Elizabeth Taylor. I found the Elizabeth Taylor that existed before the sludge of gossip and unintentional camp hardened around her. I found Elizabeth Taylor the actress.

Her sheer power is obvious in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but her blatant yet sophisticated sexuality in Butterfield 8, A Place in the Sun, Suddenly Last Summer, and Giant floored (and continue to floor) me. She was the most famous woman in the world in the 1950s/early 60s for good reason - beyond her stunning physicality, a great deal sparked behind those violet eyes. She was beckoning, but still a fantasy. It's no wonder so many men gave up everything to be with her.

I'll be mourning her death by watching Butterfield 8 tonight in a turban and dark sunglasses.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Suck (Or, Two Conversations In Search of Each Other)

I overheard these two conversations recently on separate occasions.


HORNY MAN: I just wanna suck some dick. You know what I'm saying?

COMPANION: Oh yes, honey.

HORNY MAN: Like I'm about to pay someone for it. I. Need. It.

And...days later...#2

ANOTHER HORNY MAN: I can't believe it. I shell out two hundred bucks for dinner and she doesn't put out.


ANOTHER HORNY MAN: Not even a blow job. Bitch.

Although, time, space, and the Kinsey Scale kept these two horny soulmates apart, one man is willing to pay to give head...the other is shelling out cash to receive. It's a short story O. Henry forgot to write...for Blueboy.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Three Toots (Or, Like So Weird)

Pardon my toot(s)...

Three of my photographs were chosen for the show That's Weird (February 5 - March 5) at the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles. If you're's the info.

Bobo Desmond

Neo Classical

Nipples in Dialogue

Stopping Traffic (Or, A Belated Christmas Miracle)

As heard on 8th Avenue, late December, 2010:

WINDOW SHOPPING MAN: Oh! I love those pants!

WOMAN: What do you need pants for? You just bought a cockring.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

RIP Teena Marie (Or, She Was for the Real)

I know this is late in coming...but I was saddened by the death of Teena Marie last week. In 1985, as I was getting shoved around seventh grade, I took solace in listening to "Lovergirl" in my bedroom...on my I diagrammed sentences and entered contests in Read Magazine. (No, seriously, I did...I even won a hot-as-fuck Read duffel bag once.) She was the in-charge, empowered flipside to all of Prince's Ladies-in-Waiting-in-Lingerie. She owned her shit. She was for the real, sugar. She sparkled.